Based in New York, Chuck Graef was born at the opposite end of the country in Spokane, surrounded by the mountains and wheat fields of eastern Washington, and began composing at the age of 6. After high school he spent a couple of years living in New Orleans’ Marigny neighborhood while working on riverboats and soaking up the music of Professor Longhair, the Meters, and Clifton Chenier, before moving to New York to attend Columbia University.
During the 90s while composing and performing in various collaborations he made conceptual art in the forms of audio/video/sculpture pieces that were shown in downtown New York galleries, as well as a whopping large outdoor sculpture called “Cloverleaf Interchange” installed in Empire Fulton Ferry Park under the Brooklyn Bridge. He performed at Cucaracha Warehouse Theater, and wrote and co-directed a play that was presented by downtown theater legend Richard Foreman’s Ontological Theater.
He also worked for the estates of the artists Jean Michel Basquiat and Robert Mapplethorpe, and directed a video documentary about conceptual artist Dennis Oppenheim.
Chuck recently completed his “Symphony 1,” an hour-long work for symphony orchestra. He also spent several years in Los Angeles participating in Hollywood’s film and tv world, creating scores for several films and web series. He studied orchestration and composition in New York privately with Deniz Hughes, and conducting with Craig Stuart Garfinkel at UCLA.
Chuck lives with his wife Edie, who helms the Jacob Burns Film Center, and their beautiful boy & girl twins, who are pretty much the most entertaining people who ever lived.